Opinion on expansion tank installation. Picture included.

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by John Vega, May 23, 2011.

  1. John Vega

    John Vega New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Florida
    expansion.jpg

    I am not an experienced plumber, however I am a little paranoid that the expansion tank that was recently installed in our home may eventually cause the pvc piping to fail due to the weight, stress being applied by the tank/fittings.

    Attached is an image of the install. Should I be worried?
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,263
    Location:
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    you should be worried about that, but maybe more so that the CPVC plastic is attached directly to the tank. There should be AT LEAST 18" of copper between the tank and the plastic, with the expansion tank attached to the copper and PROPERLY supported with hangers or anchors.
  3. John Vega

    John Vega New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Florida
    Thanks for the quick reply!
  4. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
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    Location:
    northfork, california
    Curious if you had a licensed plumber install that joke bit, or was it a mentally challenged handyman?

    Dont be worried. Be ANGRY.
  5. John Vega

    John Vega New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Florida
    Yes. Bayonet Plumbing, Heating & AC, Inc. http://www.bayonet-inc.com
    They are a contractor for Lennar homes.
  6. John Vega

    John Vega New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Florida
    The company replied to my email:
    " It is mounted correctly, however, if you would like it removed we can send someone out to do that for you.

    In reguard to the 18" of copper pipe: That is a requirement for gas water heaters. It is not required for your electric water heater."

    I am talking with them now via email to come up with a solution to the install issues.
    Last edited: May 26, 2011
  7. DonL

    DonL Jack of all trades Master of one

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    LMAO...

    Nice Rigging...
  8. SteveW

    SteveW DIY Senior Member

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    1,054
    Location:
    Omaha, NE
    When that tank eventually fails, it will fill with water. (Right now, it is partially filled with water, partially with pressurized air, and they are separated by a rubber diaphragm.)

    When it is all filled with water, it will be very heavy, and will tip to one side, and will twist the pipe it is attached to, most likely breaking it.

    It needs to be properly supported, in such a way that it will be stable when it is filled with water.
  9. dlarrivee

    dlarrivee New Member

    Messages:
    1,172
    Location:
    Canada
    So regardless of fuel type both heaters put out hot water... Wow...
  10. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
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    In Florida the 18" is not a code requirement on electric water heaters.
    The primary concern there is heat damage from the hot flue, not 120 degree water in the tank.

    However they do need to adequately support the expansion tank or it will break off the CPVC if it ever becomes waterlogged.

    CPVC, IMHO is a junk material.
    Last edited: May 25, 2011
  11. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

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    Location:
    northfork, california
    The best part is the glued in valve butted to the wall that cost $1.98 from Indonesia.
  12. John Vega

    John Vega New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Florida
    Thanks for all of your feedback!

    I have done some searching to try and find what the installation "should" look like. I have come up empty handed.
    Do any of you have a diagram or picture of an installation which is done properly?
    Last edited: May 26, 2011
  13. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Yakima WA
    The box that Watts tanks come in has suggested methods for installations. What you have is not one of these methods. If I was a professional plumber, which I am not, I would be ashamed of this installation. Not only for how the tank is installed, but the rest of the installation as well. Others have already chimed in on the problems, so no need to restate them.
  14. John Vega

    John Vega New Member

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    8
    Location:
    Florida
    Wow, thats great to hear
    Last edited: May 26, 2011
  15. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

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    Location:
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    The Plumbing Code is a minimum standard.
  16. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,321
    Location:
    New England
    If the heating elements ever failed to be controlled properly, the temperature could (I think, anyway) exceed the safe operating temperature of the cpvc before the safety circuits shut it off or the T&P valve opened. Personally, I would not have cpvc connected directly to the WH, regardless of the type.
  17. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I believe the ECO trips at 200 and CPVC Flowguard gold is rated at 100 psi @ 200 degrees...

    It's still junk and when I work in it I transition to PEX with a sharkbite and thats all folks...

    But Florida Code does allow the direct connection to the water heater...
    Last edited: May 25, 2011
  18. John Vega

    John Vega New Member

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    8
    Location:
    Florida
    I was being sarcastic :)
  19. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    I found the BIBLE on water heater installs from Watts. Its fun arguing, but if this was made into a sticky, we would all benefit. Great graphics and advice with calcs for tanks and valves.... have a look

    http://www.blueridgecompany.com/documents/Watts-ThermExpansion.pdf

    Take a good look at the 'inline expansion tanks' - interesting, made like hydraulic acculumulators that last forever.
    Last edited: May 26, 2011
  20. not too good

    you need to get them to at least strap the expansion tank to the wall with
    metal strapping to hold the weight.... possibly a 2x4 stilt under the cpve for support
    on the pipe too......eventually it will get water logged and weigh about 35 lbs....



    I feel that the better thing to do is simply take it out and put a plug in that fitting
    expansion tanks are pretty much a joke and cause more troubles than they remedy
    no one ever installs them properly with support and never inspects them years from now..



    [​IMG]

    here is a real beauty I had to cut out and re-do one evening in February.. stupid DIY installation with shark plastic shark bite couplings to the heater that finally snapped and flooded the basement.. the expansion tank probably weighed 50 lbs and dropped like a lead weight to the floor,
    Last edited: May 26, 2011
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